Thursday, 1 December 2011

The Hole in My Holidays



‘Tis the season for making memories, family fun, love & laughter…

Now, let me start by saying I have had my share of amazing Christmases. Memorable gifts, great times spent with friends, and an amazing family to share it all with. They may be known to put the “fun in dysfunctional” at times, but they are truly a family beyond compare.

I honestly don’t feel like I’m missing anything when it comes to my family, yet somehow when the holiday season rolls around, there is a tiny part of me that is forced to think (Consider yourself warned!). Growing up in a divorced family, Christmases often became a carefully contrived and scheduled series of appearances.  My brother and I never spent a ton of time with my dad growing up, but we could always count on seeing him at least three times a year – Father’s Day, one gathering for our birthdays, and, of course, Christmas.

Fast forward to adulthood and, for some reason not completely understood by me, those three occasions disappeared altogether. Although disappointing, as an adult I learned how to come to a general level of acceptance and tolerance. What I didn’t count on was the surge of all of these repressed emotions erupting to the surface after the birth of my beautiful little boy. You don’t want anything to do with me? Okay. You don’t want to know this perfectly wonderful and innocent human being? Now the gloves are off!

Each year I continue to remind myself that my son is lucky enough to be surrounded by an army of incredible friends & family who love him dearly. Each year I once again tell myself that anyone who chooses not to be part of such a wonderful thing is the one who is suffering the loss.

Yet each year around the holidays I still find myself carefully selecting a handful of pictures, painstakingly crafting a warm yet vague message for the holiday card, neatly scripting the address I still know by heart onto the envelope and mailing off the picture-filled card in the hopes of…. Well, to be honest, I’m not sure.

I guess I just feel like he should know what he’s missing – whether he cares or not. Like it’s important that he’s aware of what an amazing little boy exists in this world that he COULD be fortunate enough to have in his life. At this point, is it even possible that my son would receive any sort of benefit by having a relationship with this stranger-by-choice? To be honest, I have no idea.

So then why do I keep up this one-way holiday ritual each year?

Masochistic tendencies?
Misguided belief that things might one day change?
Naïve inability to accept the inevitable?
Wish I knew…

What I do know is that I want to be completely confident that I have done everything I can to be the one who has kept the door of possibilities open at all costs.

He may not know that this phenomenal pint-sized individual is a taekwondo red belt… or that he hates carrots… or that he has a fantastic sense of humour… or that he gives the best hugs… or that he only eats home-baked cookies… or that he has to have his stuffed “Rudolph & Dexy” buddies with him every night…

But I continue to do what I can to ensure that he WILL know that this beautiful little boy is happy, healthy… and here. And what he chooses to do with that information is up to him.

In the meantime I will continue to cherish each and every moment that this incredible kid is in my life. And thank my lucky stars that we are both surrounded by so many exceptional human beings that we are lucky enough to call ‘our family’.
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